Pill Testing in Australia
May 11, 2018
A pill testing service was made available for people attending a music festival in Canberra recently. Also known as 'drug checking' or 'drug testing', pill testing involves an analysis of pills, powders and capsules often sold as ecstasy and MDMA and provides critical information regarding potentially harmful contents and can provide an indication of the potency of the pill or capsule.
The pill testing service was provided by the Safety and Testing Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE) lead by Harm Reduction Australia. The testing was conducted by volunteer medical staff and analytic chemists in a mobile laboratory onsite at the festival. Models of practice for pill testing services includes volunteers providing harm reduction information regarding the consumption of unknown or potentially harmful contents detected and making provisions for people to dispose of the substance in a amnesty bin.
According to some media reports, during the testing process at the festival in Canberra 128 samples were analysed with 85 substances identified, it has been reported that a synthetic cathinone- N- ethylpentylone also known as ephylone was detected.